Environmental and Equity Scenarios for Alternative Fuel Vehicle Ownership and Use in the Portland Region

John MacArthur, Portland State University


  • Kelly Clifton, Portland State University


The City of Portland has been looking to understand the mobility profiles and the associated carbon impacts of different communities in the region. In addition, the City is evaluating its electric vehicle strategy, including placement of charging infrastructure based on locations that will have the greatest impact on reducing carbon emissions and encouraging use of electric vehicles (EVs). To help in this effort, the project is looking to answer the following questions:

1) How are carbon impacts from the use of personal vehicles distributed among different neighborhoods in Portland and the Metro region?
2) Do low-income and minority communities have a greater contribution to carbon emissions than the rest of Portland?
3) What is the potential for different policy interventions to address carbon emissions from the transportation sector?

With a focus on equity, this analysis first established the current characteristics and usage patterns of personal vehicles in the Portland metro region. Next, we developed a statistical model of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) as a function of vehicle, household, and land-use characteristics. The VMT model allowed us to predict the miles a given vehicle might be driven under various conditions. Finally, we used the model to present hypothetical policy scenarios in which portions of the existing personal vehicle fleet are replaced with either hybrid or electric vehicles and estimate the societal benefits that would result from the fuel saved under such a program. 

Project Details

Project Type:
Project Status:
End Date:
December 01,2018
UTC Grant Cycle:
non-UTC project